Drouineau Pineau des Charentes Blanc is a regional French aperitif made by Société Puy Gaudin in the commune of Gemozac, in the Charente Maritime department, about 60 kms to the north of Bordeaux.
Société Puy Gaudin was founded in 1967 by a small group of wine growers who specialise in the production of Pineau des Charented and Cognac. The co-op has over 400 hectares of vineyards, on the limestone slopes of the Gironde estuary in the the communes of Barzan, Chenac, Epargnes and Mortagne sur Gironde, which benefit from some of the best local terroirs. The region has moderate temperatures, good humidity and over 2000 hours of sunshine per year. Drouineau Pineau des Charentes is made from a blend of Ugni Blanc, Montils and Colombard grape varieties and is aged for at least 2 years prior to release. Pineau de Charentes is a fortified wine (mistelle or vin de liqueur), made from a blend of unfermented grape must and Cognac brandy. The dominant white variety of Pineau des Charentes is made using Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche and Colombard , occasionally Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Montils are used.
Drouineau Pineau des Charentes is made from a blend of Ugni Blanc, Montils and Colombard grape varieties. Standard Pineau des Charentes Blanc must be aged for at least 18 months in oak barrels, for Drouineau it is over 2 years. The resulting drink is between 16 and 22% ABV (but in commercial practice nearly always 17%) and is traditionally a deep gold in colour, but colours and qualities vary from vineyard to vineyard, depending on the lie of the land, the soil composition and the grape used. The taste is predominantly sweet, but is balanced by both acidity and the increased level of alcohol.
For more information on the history and production of Pineau des Charentes please visit my blog post here.